Statesmen Snag First Set but Fall to Missouri Baptist

Oskaloosa — Back at home after their victory over Graceland, William Penn men’s volleyball took on yet another top-five team in the NAIA on Saturday. #5 Missouri Baptist fell prey to the Statesmen in set one, but they came back swinging in the next three to win the match three sets to one. WPU took the first frame 25-19 but lost the others 25-21, 25-18, and 25-14. The Statesmen fall to 6-8 overall and 4-7 in their Heart of America Athletic Conference record.

The navy and gold ran off five-straight points to begin the match, forcing the Spartans to call a timeout. Eli Herro (So., Dousman, Wis., Business Management) got the first kill of the game, with Connor Muff (Jr., Kenosha, Wis., Business Management) dropping in an ace to make it 2-0. Ike Papes (So., Elwood, Ill, Business Management) also got a kill in the run, but MBU responded after the timeout. Running off four in a row, the Spartans closed to within one, tying the game at 6-6 a few rallies later.

The Statesmen once more went on a hot streak, going up 10-6, with Herro providing an ace to help keep WPU ahead. The Spartans closed up once again, making the score 12-11 after an attack error by Papes, but the navy and gold locked things down from there.

Papes put the team up 14-11 on a solid kill and WPU soon inched away to a 20-15 lead. Anthony Torres (Fr., Aurora, Ill., Computer Science) and Papes made kills at the end to give the home side the win in the first frame 25-19. The team hit .292, with 11 kills and four errors in 24 total attempts.

The Spartans woke up in set two, as they struck for the first two points, before Herro helped to tie the score at 2-2. MBU then grabbed control with four unanswered points to take a 6-2 lead. But William Penn did not roll over, as they went on a 6-3 run to get back to within one. Up 10-9, the Spartans once more pulled away, taking a 16-12 edge.

Charlie Figy (Fr., Appleton, Wis., Sports Management) slipped in an ace to force the visitors into a timeout, yet WPU tied the score at 18-18 right after the break. However, the Statesmen got held up by MBU over the final few rallies, as the Spartans took the second set 25-21. WPU hit .176 in the second, with six kills and three errors in 17 attempts.

Sets three and four saw Missouri Baptist gain more confidence and keep all the momentum on their side. The teams started the fourth by exchanging points, until the score was 4-4. From there, the Spartans pushed down on the gas pedal, going up 10-7, and then 15-10. Papes and Herro provided some offense, but they could not overcome the deficit on their own, as WPU fell 25-18.

The Statesmen could not recapture any energy from their hot start way back in the first, as they soon trailed 3-1 in the fourth. A couple long rallies went to the Spartans and they soon jumped ahead 10-5. WPU picked up a point here and another point there, but they could not string anything together, falling 25-14.

The navy and gold had 37 kills for the match, as they hit at a .226 mark. The squad had 24 digs, four aces, and five total blocks. Papes had a good statistical day, with 17 kills and four errors in 33 total attempts, as he hit .394 on the day. Herro also delivered a strong outing with 11 kills and three errors on 19 attempts, hitting at a .421 percentage. Muff had 32 assists while CJ Rettig (So., Sierra Madre, Calif., Physical Education) led the team with 10 digs.

Next Up: After a few days off, William Penn will travel to the Cumberland Invitational in Lebanon, Tenn. The squad will play Siena Heights on March 5 at 1 p.m. and face Cumberland for the second time this season at 5 p.m. that same day.

Posted by on Feb 28 2021. Filed under College Sports. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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